My Approach to ITP

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Prof. Tom Igoe was helpful enough to meet with me for a bit around noon today to go over the Skillbot project and offer some advice. A very good thing.

And so, let me describe my approach to ITP and graduate school. Because I think it’s a bit counter-intuitive, especially for those of us used to the undergraduate model of education.

ITP. NYU. I don’t know exactly what this is costing me, but all told it’ll probably be in the ballpark of… $80,000? $70,000? A bunch. So I have no fears whatsoever about taking my own time to do exactly what I want to do while in the program. I am the paying customer.

So I have things that I want to learn and ideas that I want to explore. And nothing should prevent me from doing these things that I want, especially when I have the plum opportunity to deal with a group of people who will go out of their way to test and try and give my ideas some good consideration (as I give theirs, I hope; and Skillbot has so far been an excellent example as people have been very open to helping me run this experiment). So no fears about fitting into classes or doing or not doing — I execute the ideas I want. If they fit into a class, awesome. If not, then I can ask the people around me, students and professors, for input and criticism. And they’ll give it.

And this is the power of a program like ITP. Even without formal classes, this would be a great experience. The classes just get our minds going, moving, jogging, thinking. The goals are completely up to us.

That I’m more than a quarter of the way through it saddens me. Part of me wants it to last for more than two years. But. Considering how much has already happened, I’m giddy to know what’s coming next. Who knows where I’ll be by May 2007…